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It's common in the US to use a consumption tax attached to gasoline and diesel fuel to fund road repairs and construction. This was generally useful in the past, but breaks down with hybrids and electrics. I used to gas up my 1999 Chevy Malibu about every two weeks. I'd put in about 12 gallons each time. Five years ago, I replaced it with a Toyota Prius, and I gas it up on average about every four weeks. I put in about 8 1/2 gallons on average. I'm driving about the same number of miles, which means that I'm paying less per mile in consumption taxes. If I had a plug-in electric vehicle, I'd pay no taxes for roads in my state.

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1 hour ago, Ternaugh said:

If I had a plug-in electric vehicle, I'd pay no taxes for roads in my state.

 

If you worked at a company like mine - which is trying to encourage employees to use hybrid & electric vehicles - you could charge up for free at work as well.

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3 hours ago, DShomshak said:

Hugh mentioned the inefficiency of the Canadian tax micro-credits. When The Economist talks aout taxes, they often mention this factor. For instance, consumption taxes are highly regressive but also highly efficient -- I gather that means there's high certainty of the tax being collected, and relatively low cost to the collection. Income taxes, OTOH, can be made progressive but collection and enforcement are relatively expensive and the super-rich easily find ways to evade them.

 

Andrew Yang talks about a Value Added Tax, which is supposedly a form of consumption tax, but the one time I tried reading an explanation I didn't understand much of it.

 

The Economist also favors a land tax, which I gather is not the same as a property tax, but in ways I did not understand at all. So there are lots of ways for governments to collect taxes as the user fees of civilization. That's about as far as my understanding goes... but it's enough to get suspicious when someone claims its actually simple, whether it's simply outrageous or there's a simple answer.

 

Dean Shomshak

 

Dean Shomshak

The general criticism of the VAT is that it's regressive in effect, that is, it tends to have a disproportionate impact on the poor and lower middle class, since they have less discretionary income, savings and investments, and therefore almost all of their income winds up getting taxed since it's all spent.  

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A VAT or Value Added Tax is typically a sales tax with a twist.  The Canadian GST is a form of VAT.  The tax is recovered at each step along the way to the final consumer..  So, for example:

 

The lumberjack cuts down trees and sells them to a lumber company.  He charges VAT, and gets to claim back any VAT paid on his own costs (like his chain saw, vehicle costs, etc.).

 

The lumber company turns the logs into boards and sells them to a building supply store.  It charges VAT, and gets to claim back any VAT paid on its own costs (like its machinery, repairs and the logs).

 

The building supply store sells the wood to consumers and construction companies.  It charges VAT, and gets to claim back any VAT paid on its own costs (like its store rent, repairs and the boards).

 

If I, a consumer, bought the boards to build my deck, I will not recover the VAT.  A deck builder would, but he will charge me VAT for building my deck, which I can't recover.

 

Unlike a more conventional sales tax (that fuel tax, for example), which everyone pays and no one gets back, the VAT does not compound over layers of businesses - it is borne by the ultimate consumer.  Often, you don't charge VAT on exports, enhancing international competitiveness.

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It makes me wonder how I would act if something like that happened where I am. I'm ashamed to admit I'm not sure I would be that brave. And I think we've all become more aware that this sort of thing could happen anywhere, if the wrong parties are allowed to gain too much power.

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2 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

...if the wrong parties are allowed to gain too much power.

 

The implication here is that there's a right party. I don't believe that to be true. Maybe I've become jaded by age and the current American political situation, but I don't trust either major American Party as far as I could spit a rat.

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32 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

It makes me wonder how I would act if something like that happened where I am. I'm ashamed to admit I'm not sure I would be that brave. And I think we've all become more aware that this sort of thing could happen anywhere, if the wrong parties are allowed to gain too much power.

 

I don't think I'd be that brave either. Too many people I love at risk.

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1 hour ago, Pariah said:

 

The implication here is that there's a right party. I don't believe that to be true. Maybe I've become jaded by age and the current American political situation, but I don't trust either major American Party as far as I could spit a rat.

 

Just to be clear, I meant "parties" as in "persons," not any political parties. Some people will treat power with respect and responsibility; but the American Founding Fathers built checks and balances into the system because they understood that not everyone who gained power would do so.

 

As Abraham Lincoln wrote, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

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I don't think it was teh bunneh...to give a bit of credit here, this is likely just advanced planning on Trump's part, though it is giving away his intentions in regards to the Mexican-American War (we never said we'd protect the southwestern states forever).  Once he renegotiates the peace treaty and pulls our troops out, Mexico will have control over Texas, Arizona, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Nevada.  It is to be assumed that western Colorado will be used as a bargaining chip by Pence during the cease fire negotiations.

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1 hour ago, Simon said:

I don't think it was teh bunneh...to give a bit of credit here, this is likely just advanced planning on Trump's part, though it is giving away his intentions in regards to the Mexican-American War (we never said we'd protect the southwestern states forever).  Once he renegotiates the peace treaty and pulls our troops out, Mexico will have control over Texas, Arizona, Utah, California, New Mexico, and Nevada.  It is to be assumed that western Colorado will be used as a bargaining chip by Pence during the cease fire negotiations.

 

Damn. During the War of 1812 Canada still belonged to England. I bet Trump will use that as a pretext to start building a wall in Michigan so we have to take Detroit. :(

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36 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Damn. During the War of 1812 Canada still belonged to England. I bet Trump will use that as a pretext to start building a wall in Michigan so we have to take Detroit. :(

 

Build a wall on the OTHER Side... and watch the United Nations freak out!

 

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5 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I almost feel sorry for Trump. The inside of his head must be a confusing and frustrating place to live.

 

...for the echoes, if nothing else.

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18 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Damn. During the War of 1812 Canada still belonged to England. I bet Trump will use that as a pretext to start building a wall in Michigan so we have to take Detroit. :(

 

I still remember hearing Detroit-based JP McCarthy interview comedian and satirist Pat Paulsen during one of his presidential campaigns.  Paulsen said his campaign was based upon "Manifest Destiny North-to-South," with the intention of taking over Canada.


McCarthy:  Why do you want to invade Canada?
Paulsen:  Because it's north of us.

McCarthy:  (referring to Windsor, Ontario)  Actually, here in Detroit, Canada is south of us.

Paulsen:  (sound of papers being thrown in the air)  Well, that blows my campaign all to h***!

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3 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

 

I still remember hearing Detroit-based JP McCarthy interview comedian and satirist Pat Paulsen during one of his presidential campaigns.  Paulsen said his campaign was based upon "Manifest Destiny North-to-South," with the intention of taking over Canada.


McCarthy:  Why do you want to invade Canada?
Paulsen:  Because it's north of us.

McCarthy:  (referring to Windsor, Ontario)  Actually, here in Detroit, Canada is south of us.

Paulsen:  (sound of papers being thrown in the air)  Well, that blows my campaign all to h***!

 

My company's Canada office turns out to be south of where I was born in America.  That little pointy spot of Canada is as far south as the bottom edge of South Dakota.  A large chunk of the USA is further North than that.

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On 10/24/2019 at 8:09 AM, Lord Liaden said:

I almost feel sorry for Trump. The inside of his head must be a confusing and frustrating place to live.

 

My psych major/preschool teacher sister thinks Trump must have had an utterly miserable childhood. I've heard his rather Nazi-like father drilled into young Donald that "You're a killer!" and that he was genetically superior to other people, destined to dominate and win. Hell of a burden to place on a child.

 

Though my sister adds that to explain is not to excuse.

 

Dean Shomshak

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8 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

 

I still remember hearing Detroit-based JP McCarthy interview comedian and satirist Pat Paulsen during one of his presidential campaigns.  Paulsen said his campaign was based upon "Manifest Destiny North-to-South," with the intention of taking over Canada.


McCarthy:  Why do you want to invade Canada?
Paulsen:  Because it's north of us.

McCarthy:  (referring to Windsor, Ontario)  Actually, here in Detroit, Canada is south of us.

Paulsen:  (sound of papers being thrown in the air)  Well, that blows my campaign all to h***!

 

4 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

My company's Canada office turns out to be south of where I was born in America.  That little pointy spot of Canada is as far south as the bottom edge of South Dakota.  A large chunk of the USA is further North than that.

 

I happen to live relatively close (as Canadian distances go) from that little pointy spot, which is part of the most densely populated region of the country, and also a focus for much of the country's government, business, and media. Many Canadians from elsewhere consider us weather wimps compared to those who live in the "true North." They also accuse us of acting like we're the nucleus of the whole country. To be honest, they're not far wrong on either count. :rolleyes:

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